Caribbean - Telecoms Market - Statistics and Analyses
The telecoms markets in most Caribbean countries have been progressively liberalised, with operators in these markets able to offer a full range of telecom services. The telecom sector remains one of the Caribbean region's major growth sectors, particularly in the mobile telephony and data segments.
There are a large number of operators licensed to provide services within individual markets, though most of them are small and localised. There are two regional operators which compete in all market sectors: Digicel and Cable and Wireless Communications. The sector has undergone some considerable changes in recent years. Cable & Wireless acquired Columbus Communications in early 2015 and was itself acquired by Liberty Global in November 2015. The LIME brand was discontinued in May 2016 in favour of the Flow brand, which had been used by Columbus International for its fixed-line services. As a result, Liberty Global and Digicel now compete more effectively in the provision of bundled services, a segment to which both operators have focussed investment in recent years. Digicel has expanded its interest in the pay TV sector, launching Digicel Play in four markets thus far, though the scale of Liberty Global's operations provide the operator with a stronger card regarding content for its pay TV and VoD offerings.
Investment in telecoms was for several years affected by the global financial crisis, which led to reduced revenue for operators, scaled-back government programs and a weakened tourist sector. Although there has been considerable recovery in economies of the region overall, the telecom market continues to see price pressure for the main operators. Some markets, particularly those dependent on agriculture and oil exports, remain suppressed and with little prospect for growth into 2017. This has stimulated operators to acquire smaller players within the region, so expanding their scale in a bid to maintain revenue stability. These moves have predominantly undertaken been by Liberty Global (CWC), Digicel and KeyTech.0 This report analyses general trends in the Caribbean telecom market, including recent regulatory measures, telecom infrastructure updates and developments in key sectors including mobile, broadband and fixed-telephony.
CWC completes acquisition of Columbus International; Liberty Global acquires CWC; Digicel acquires pan-Caribbean submarine cable systems from Loret Group; operators expand FttP in several markets; LTE launches in additional markets as operators focus investment on mobile networks; regulatory developments; operator data and statistics updates; recent market developments.